7 Questions to Keep in Mind During Recruiting Trips

Photo Courtesy: Jena Johnson

By Makena Markert, Swimming World College Intern.

With summer coming to a close and fall quickly approaching, recruiting trips are just around the corner for rising seniors in high school. This can be an extremely exciting yet somewhat overwhelming time for student athletes. They’re about to make a huge decision: where to call “home” for the next four years of their lives.

With that being said, here are seven questions to keep in mind that may prove helpful during the recruiting journey ahead!

1. Could I see myself on this campus?

Some people say as soon as you step foot on the campus that’s for you, you’ll feel it and you’ll just know that you’ve found “the one.” However, this may not always be true. Take your time to explore different parts of campus, especially paying attention to areas that you would spend most of your time if you choose to attend this specific institution.

2. Does this team culture align with what I’m looking for?

Team culture is so important and really can affect the direction in which a team goes. The term “team culture” essentially refers to the shared patterns and interactions within a team. While at different schools, observe interactions within the team and see how the team interacts with non-swimmers.

nationals cheer

Photo Courtesy: Kenyon College Athletics

3. Will I be happy training at this facility for four years?

As an athlete, you will without a doubt be spending a lot of time at the athletic center. More so than other students, you should think about if you would be happy with the facilities offered at different schools. As a swimmer, you will likely have practice every day and doubles throughout the week as well.

4. Do the coaches and I have common goals?

While on your trip, you will likely have some time set aside to talk to coaches and ask any questions you may have. Take advantage of this time! Ask thoughtful questions that help you better understand the program. Keep in mind what you want from coaches, and explore what they’re looking for in student-athletes. Some programs can be a better fit than others – be honest with yourself and with the coaches you meet to make the most informed decision.

coach-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

5. Are the class sizes what I’m looking for?

Depending on which schools you visit, you could see a wide range of class sizes. Bigger schools may have generic freshman lectures with 400-500 people enrolled in a single class, whereas smaller schools’ freshman lectures may only have 30 students. Class sizes definitely play a role in your college experience.

6. Is the dining something I could get used to?

This may seem silly, but any dining hall is going to be different from what you’re used to at home. Unless you’ve attended boarding school, dining is probably going to take time to get used to. They may use different cooking oils that your body may not react well to. If you have dietary restrictions or allergies, be sure to ask about accommodations. College cafeterias typically aren’t known for their plethora of healthy options; however, some do provide nutritious meals if you look hard enough. Is nutrition something you can compromise on? As an athlete, what you choose to fuel your body with is extremely important.

bacon-eggs-food-steve-snodgrass

Photo Courtesy: Steve Snodgrass

7. Where will I be living if I choose to attend this school?

Be sure to get a feel for campus and residential life while on your visits. See where you could potentially live and if you think you’d be comfortable there. Sometimes, current team members will host you for an overnight visit if you request one. This is a great time to pick their brains about the best places to live and what campus culture is really like.


While choosing the right college can be a daunting task, you can prepare yourself by reflecting on what’s important to you. Write down a list of what you’re looking for and mentally check them off during your visits. After all, this will be the place you call home for some of the most formative years of your life!

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.